Casey Reas - Artist Interview Series - Electric Objects

Casey Reas

Los Angeles, CA
Yes No (Software 2)
Main artwork 3Network D (Image 2)
100% Gray Coverage

“I want programming to be as immediate and fluid as drawing.”

— Casey, {Software} Structures
Can we see a picture of your workspace and/or desktop?
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This is my other studio. At UCLA. It's my office and also the home of the UCLA Arts Software Studio.

Where are you typing this from?

My garage. In Los Angeles. Near(ish) to the ocean.

What do you watch/listen to while working?

Today it was angry guys from Ohio: early Devo, Brainiac, and Guided by Voices. It's different day to day, week to week. I have many secrets.

What have you been working on lately?
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I had two large commissions in 2014 – a two-wall printed mural at the University of Texas at Austin and a thirty-six-screen software mural for a private collection in Washington D.C. I also published the second edition of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists with MIT Press last December. Right now, I'm exploring new directions and working a number of smaller projects in software, photo, and for the web.

What work of yours are you most proud of?
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It's always the latest, so right now it's One-Point Perspective. The trick is to feel good about the work five and ten years later. In some ways, my first large work, the Tissue series, shown at the bitforms gallery in 2002 is special. It was the public catalyst for all that came after.

What tools do you use in your work?

I work with statements, variables, loops, conditionals, functions, objects, and arrays.

Can you tell us about your process?

The most accurate thing to say about my process is that it's different for each body of work. Sometimes it starts with research or a specific text and other times with sketches and drawings. Sometimes I just start writing code and I see where that leads. I do my best thinking with my eyes. I figure things out through cycles of creating and looking. In general, I start with how things work – how they behave and respond. The images emerge from the system, then later feeds back into it. My Instagram and cloned Tumblr are records of what is happening in and around my studio.

Any last advice for the folks just starting out?

Burn the candles at both ends and don't stop.

Top five most influential diagrams?
Top five favorite file formats?

TXT, PDE (Processing Development Environment), TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), ODT (OpenDocument Text), HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

Your doppelgänger?
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What are the best places to see your work?
What sites do you visit for inspiration?

I don't believe in inspiration.

Top four favorite Godard films?
What are your favorite galleries, museums, exhibits, etc.? 

Thanks for the interview,
Casey